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Republican Debate

Republican Presidential Candidates Debate... Series/Special. (2012) GOP presidential hopefuls discuss the issues in New Hampshire; moderated by Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos. New. (HD) (Stereo)

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ABC

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02:00:00

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Annapolis, MD, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Channel 77 (543 MHz)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
528

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480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Romney 30, Us 23, Washington 18, Santorum 16, New Hampshire 13, Afghanistan 11, Gingrich 10, South Carolina 10, Paul 9, Texas 9, Iraq 9, Iowa 8, Dr. Paul 7, D.c. 7, Massachusetts 7, United States 6, Ron 6, Rick Perry 6, Newt Gingrich 6, New York 6,
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  ABC    Republican Debate    Republican Presidential Candidates Debate...   
   Series/Special.  (2012) GOP presidential hopefuls discuss the issues in...  

    January 7, 2012
    9:00 - 11:00pm EST  

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captioned by closed captioning services, inc. . tonight, all eyes on new hampshire. after just eight votes in iowa separated him -- >> on to new hampshire, let's get that job done. >> from him -- >> game on, we will win this election. >> the game has changed. >> i have decided to stand aside. >> and now everything is different. >> what do we need to do as a country to get back on the right track? >> can anyone overtake mitt romney as he tries to close in and seal the nomination? can rick santorum build on stunning iowa success? is time running out for these candidates to catch the front-runner save their campaigns? >> we've got some tough decisions. >> we are going to take america back. >> believe me this momentum is going to be continued. >> the voting has begun. the stakes couldn't be any
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higher. and tonight we put them all to the test. in this campaign season filled with so many dramatic surprises, live, from manchester, new hampshire, and st. anselm college in partnership with yahoo! news and wmur tv, this is the abc news republican presidential debate. your voice, your vote. now reporting, diane sawyer, george stephanopoulos and joining us tonight from new hampshire's own wmur, political director josh mcelveen. >> welcome. the first debate of the year 2012. the voting is under way. and, george, those votes in iowa reminded us on tuesday every vote counts. >> no question about it. we are off and running. great to be here with you, josh. now let's introduce the candidates. former governor jon huntsman. texas congressman ron paul. former governor of massachusetts mitt romney. former senator from pennsylvania
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rick santorum. the former speaker of the house, newt gingrich. and texas governor rick perry. >> it is time to remind everyone again of the rules. pretty straight forward. we remind you again, they were negotiated and agreed to by the candidates themselves. so let's take you through them. one minute responses to the question with 30 seconds for rebuttal. we're showing everybody at home that the candidates will see green and then when there's 15 seconds left it will turn yellow and red when the time is up. >> our audience was chosen by st. anselm college and wmur. all of you at home can watch on abcnews.com and yahoo.com and join the discussion by downloading yahoo!'s into now app on your iphone. >> so let the debate begin. governor romney, we'll begin with you. we just saw 200,000 new jobs created last month. and there are optimists who say
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this is the signal this economy is finally turning around. are you with those optimists? >> i'm an optimist and i certainly hope it turns around. we have millions of people who have been suffering too long. 25 million people that are out of work or stopped looking for work, and also a lot of people who have got part-time jobs and need full-time employment. so it's very good news. i hope we continue to see good news. but it's not thanks to president obama. his policies have made the recession deeper and his policies have made the recovery more tepid. as a result of everything from obama care to dodd/frank to a stimulus plan not as well directed as it should have been to a whole host of new regulations put on american businesses, he's made it harder for small entrepreneurs and big businesses to invest in america and grow jobs here. the president is going to try to take responsibility for things getting better. it's like the rooster taking responsibility for the sun company rise. he didn't do it. what he did was make things harder for america to get going
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again. >> now senator santorum, you've said we don't need a ceo, we don't need a manager as president. what did you mean by that? >> well, we need a leader. someone who can paint a pose tifl vision for this country. someone who has the experience to go out and be the commander in chief. i've experienced eight years on the armed services committee. i've managed major pieces of legislation through the house and through the senate on national security issues like iran which is the most -- you want to talk about the most pressing issue we're dealing with today, it's iran. and as newt's talked about many times, there's no one that has more experience in dealing with that country than i do. that means we need someone who can go out and paint a vision of what america's strength is about, let our allies know they can trust us, let our enemies know they have to respect us. >> it has been written you were talking about governor romney. were you? >> well, i'm talking about -- yeah, in the case of -- in the
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manager, as you're talking about, as commander in chief or the manager part? >> the manager. >> of course i was talking about governor romney. talking about someone who has said i'm going to be, i've got business experience. well, business experience doesn't necessarily match up with being the commander in chief of this country. the commander in chief of this country isn't a ceo. it's someone who has to lead and it's also being the president is also not a ceo. you can't direct, you know, members of congress and members of the senate as to how you do things. you've got to lead and inspire. that's what i think the people here in iowa and new hampshire here are looking for, someone who can inspire and paint a pose tifl vision for this country. i've been the one that's been able to do that. that's the one i think we're doing well in the polls. >> governor romney, your response? >> i think people who spend their life in washington don't understand what happens out in the real economy. they think the people who start businesses are just managers. people who start as entrepreneurs to start a business from the ground up and get customers and get investors and hire people to join them,
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those people are leaders. and the chance to lead in free enterprise is extraordinarily critical to also being able to lead a state like i led in massachusetts. and, by the way, lead the olympic. my experience is in leadership. the people in the private sector who every day are make this nation a stronger make it, they're not successful because they're managers, they're successful primarily because they're leaders. i wish people in washington had the experience of going out and working in the real economy first before they went there and they'd understand some of the real lessons of leadership. >> let me bring the speaker in. a group supporting you, one run by one of your closest longtime advisers has put out a very scathing attack just today on governor romney, on his tenure as the ceo of that investment firm bane capital. it calls that tenure greed. saying, quote, stripping american businesses of assets, sell everything to the highest
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bidder and often killing jobs for big financial rewards. do you agree with that characterization? >> i haven't seen the film. but it does reflect "the new york times" story two days ago, about one particular company. and i think people should look at the film and decide. if it's factually accurate it raises questions. i'm very much for free enterprise. i'm very much for exactly what the governor just described. create a business. grow jobs. provide leadership. i'm not nearly as enamored of a wall street model where you can flip companies, go in and have leverage buyouts, basically take all the money, leaving behind the workers. >> is that the model? >> i think you have to look at the film and look at "the new york times" coverage of one particular company and ask yourself some questions. the governor has every right to defend that. it's a legitimate part of the debate to say, okay, on balance were people better off or were people worse off from this particular style of investment. >> back in december you said that governor romney made money at bane by, quote, bankrupting
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companies and laying off employees. >> that was i think "the new york times" story two days ago. they took one particular company. they walked through in detail. how much they took out of it and the 1,700 people they left unemployed. check "the new york times" story but that's their story. >> governor romney, your response? >> well, i'm not surprised to have "the new york times" put free enterprise on trial. i'm not surprised to have the obama administration did that either. we understand in the free economy, in the private sector, that sometimes investments don't work and you're not su sesful. successful. it always pains you if you have to be in a situation of downsizing a business in order to make it more successful and try to grow it again. i'm very proud of the fact that the two enterprises i led were successful. the olympics were successful. my state was successful, the state of massachusetts. in the business i had, we invested in over 100 different business, and net-net, taking out the ones where we lost jobs and those we added, those businesses have now added over
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100,000 jobs. i have a record of learning how to create jobs. >> there have been questions about that calculation of 100,000 jobs. so if you could explain a little more. some analysts look at it and say you're counting the jobs that were created but not counting the jobs that were taken away. is that accurate? >> no, it's not accurate. it includes the net of both. good enough numbers guy to make sure i got both sides of that. the simple ones, some of the biggest, for instance, there's a steel company called steel dynam inices in indiana. thousand, of jobs there. bright horizons childrens centers sports authority, about 15,000 jobs there. staples alone, 90,000 employees. that's a business we helped start from the ground up. >> that includes jobs that were created even after you left, right? >> oh, yes. those are businesses we started that continue to grow. we're only a small part of that. we were investors to help get them going. in some cases businesses shrunk. we tried to help turn them around. sometimes successfully. sometimes not. let's not forget this is a free
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enterprise system. we don't need government to come in and tell us how to make businesses work. we need people with passion. willing to take risk and help turn things around. and where that works you create jobs. >> let me bring governor huntsman in. supporters of yours have taken aim at this tenure, romney's tenure at bane capital. you know the democrats are preparing to do that as well. on balance, should they worry about this attack? is romney's record at bane a weakness or strength? >> as part of his record, therefore, it's going to be talked about. i think it's fair for the people of this nation to have a conversation about one's record. governor romney can say whatever he wishes to say about it. i also have private sector experience. i combine a little bit of what rick santorum talked about and what governor romney has. i think it's a good balance. i come from manufacturing. people will find something in my record. you know what, it's important for the people to look at our records. because everybody up here has a record that ought to be scrutinized.
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it goes wrond the private sector. it goes beyond the private sector. i served as a governor. mitt served as a governor. others up here have had positions of responsibility. take a look at what we did as governor. i think that is probably more telling in term, of what i would do or what mitt would do as president of the united states. i put both proposals forward. i delivered a flat tax for my state. i took my state to number one in job creation, with all due respect to what rick perry has said about texas, we did a little bit better. we reformed health care without a mandate. we took our state to number one as the most business-friendly state in america. now, in a time in our nation's history when we so desperately need jobs, i think that's going to be a very material part of the discussion. >> governor, 30 seconds. >> i congratulation huntsman on the success in his governorship to make the state more attractive for business. that's got to happen. but what -- i actually think it's helpful to have people who have had a job in the private sector, if you want to create
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jobs in the private sector. we've had a lot of presidents over the years who have wonderful experience. right now we have people whose backgrounds are in the governmental sector as well as the private sector. i think now, given what america is facing globally, given an economy that's changed its dynamics dramatically over the last ten years, you need to have someone who understands how that economy works at a very close leaveful we're going to be able to post up against president obama and establish a record that says this is different than a president who does not understand job creation. >> congressman, let's stay on the issue of record. you've got a new ad up in south carolina taking direct aim at senator santorum. you call him a corrupt -- a corporate lobbyist, a washington insider with a record of betrayal. you also call him corrupt in that ad. senator santorum is standing right here. are you willing to stand by those charges and explain them? >> well, it was a quote -- somebody did make a survey and i think he came out as one of the top corrupt individuals because he took so much money from the lobbyists. but really what the whole -- there it goes again.
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>> it caught you not telling the truth, ron -- >> but really, really -- what really counts is his record. i mean, he's a big government, big spending individual. because, you know, he preached to the fact he wanted a balanced budget amendment but wanted to raise the debt to five times. he is a big government person. we as republicans know something about right to work. we supported -- he voted against right to work. he voted along with no child left behind, to double, you know, the size of the department of education. and he also voted to -- for prescription drug program. so he's a big government person. along with him being very -- associated with the lobbyists and taking a lot of funds. and also where did he get -- make his living afterwards? he became a high-powered lobbyist on -- in washington, d.c. he's done quite well. we checked out newt, on his
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income. i think we ought to find out how much money he's made from the lobbyists as well. >> a lot of charges there, senator. >> i was going to say, do i have 20 minutes to answer these? let's talk about the corruption issue. the group was called crew. if you haven't been sued by crew, you're not a conservative. crew is this left wing organization that puts out a list every election of the top republicans who have tough races and calls them all corrupt because they take contributions from pacs. it's a ridiculous charge. you should know better than to cite those organizations. that's number one. ron, i'm a conservative. i'm not a libertarian. i believe in some government. i do believe government has -- as a senator from pennsylvania, that i had a responsibility to go out there and represent the issues of my state. that's what i did to make sure pennsylvania was able, form ls and other things, to get its
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fair share of money back. i don't apologize for that. anymore than you did when you were a congressman in texas. as far as the money i received, i think i'm known in this race and i was known in washington, d.c. as a cause guy. i am a cause guy. i care deeply about this country and about the causes that make me -- that i think are the core of this country. when i left the united states senate, i got involved in causes that i believe in. i went and worked at the ethics and public policy center and wrote on the cause of iran and wrote and lectured all over this country. i got involved with the health care company. why? because i was afraid of what was going to happen. i was asked by a health care company to be on their board it i don't know whether you think board of directors are lobbyists. they're not. that's the private sector experience that i'm sure mitt would approve of. you also -- i also worked for a coal company. as i mentioned the other day, my grandfather was a coal miner. i grew up in the coal region. and when i left the united states senate, one of the big issues on the table was cap and
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trade, global warming, and i wanted to stay involved in the fray. so i contracted a local coal company from my area. i asked, i said, look, i want to join you in that fight. i want to help you in any way i can to make sure we defeat cap and trade. i engaged in that battle. i'm very proud to have engaged in that battle. >> congressman paul, will you absebe an accept it? >> i agree with that but the big difference between the way i voted and the senator voted is i always voted against the spending. i voted against all the spending. it's only been a couple appropriations bills i voted for in the past, what, 24, 26 years i've been in washington, so you're a big spender, that's all there is to it? you're a big government conservative. you don't vote for right to work and these very important things. that's what weakens the economy. to say you're a conservative is a stretch. you've convinced a lot of people of it.
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somebody has to point out your record. >> no, i think i have an opportunity to respond here. i've convinced a lot of people of it because my record is actually pretty darn good. i support it and voted for a balanced budget. the line item veto. i used to keep track of all the democratic amendments, all amendments that increased spending. i put on the board, something called a spendometer. if you take all the, quote, spending groups, was rated at the top nearly every single year. i'm not a libertarian, ron. i agree with you. you vote against everything. i don't vote against everything. i do vote for some spending. i do think government has a role to play, particularly in defense -- >> let everybody get in here but first governor perry. we'll stay on this subject, don't worry. >> i'll let you back in here, ron. >> you called senator -- >> yeah, i think you've just seen a great example of why i got in this race. because i happen to think i'm the only outsider with the
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possible exception of jon huntsman who has not been part of the problem in washington, d.c. the insiders in washington, d.c. we have to nominate someone who can beat barack obama, who can get the tea party behind them, that can go to washington, d.c. and stop the corrupt spending that has been going on. and it doesn't make any difference whether you're an insider from washington, d.c. or an insider from wall street. that is what americans, rightfully, see is the real problem in america today. they want someone that has a record of executive governing experience like i have in texas. i've been the commander in chief of 20,000-plus troops that get deployed. i have been the governor of a state that has created 1 million net new jobs. that is a record that american people are looking for. that is what americans are looking for. an outsider that is not corrupted by the process. >> governor, you're saying congressman paul is an insider? >> i am telling you, anybody who has had as many -- here's what
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frustrates me. is that you go get the earmarks and then you vote against the bill. now, i don't know what they call that in other places, but congressman paul, in texas, we call that hypocrisy. >> well, i call it being a constitutionalist. because i believe we should earmark or designate, every penny. you designate weapons systems. you designate money to go spend $1 billion on an embassy in iraq. that's an earmark too. i say the congress has more responsibility. back to senator santorum, you know, he ducks behind he's for this balanced budget amendment. he voted five times to increase the national debt by trillions of dollars. this is what the whole tea party movement is about. governor's practically stopped over increasing the national debt. did it five times. what's your excuse for that? that's trillions of dollars. you kept this thing going. you didn't do very much to shore it up when you had a chance.
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>> as a matter of fact, i did do a lot when i had a chance. i was the author of the only bill that repealed a federal entitlement, welfare reform. i promoted and tried to pass social security reform. i worked on medicare and medicaid. i was one of the only guys out there in a time, ron, when we were running surplus that was out there talking about the need for long-term entitlement reform which is where the real problem is. when the government runs up a tab and you don't have the money no longer to pay, then you have to increase the debt ceiling. but every time we tried to tie it with reducing spending. we are in a point right now where we've blown the doors off of it. as you know, back in the last go-around, i sit up and say no we shouldn't increase the debt ceiling because we've gone too far. but, you know, routine debt ceiling increases have happened throughout the course of this country for 200 years. >> if i can, i'd like to pivot and go to another topic here which is the issue of commander in chief and national security. governor huntsman, you've
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already said for us that the iranians have made the decision to go nuclear. you think they want a nuclear weapon. tell us why you would be better as commander in chief than the other candidates on this stage. >> because being commander in chief is less about having the discussions we've just heard a moment ago. a lot of insider gobbledygook. a lot of political spin. it's about leading organizations. it's about leading people. it's about creating a vision. and i've done that my entire career. i did that as governor. i took my state to the best managed state in america. i hook it economy to the number one position, number one in job creation. as compared with massachusetts which was number 47 during a time when i think leadership matters to the american people. but more than anything else, i believe this nation is looking for not only leadership but leadership that can be trusted. because, let's face it, we have a serious trust deficit in this nation. the american people no longer
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trust our institutions of power. they no longer trust our elected officials. and i'm here to tell you we must find not just a commander in chief, not just a president, not just a visionary, but we've got to find somebody who can reform congress and do what needs to be done. leading the charge on term limits. everybody knows we've got to close the revolving door that has corrupted washington. everybody knows as well we've got to have someone who can deliver trust back to wall street, which has also lost the american people's trust. >> do you want to speak specifically about anyone on this stage? >> they can speak for themselves. i can tell you, having served as governor successfully, the only person on this stage as well to havely offed overseas four times, i've run two american embassies, including the largest and most complicated we have in the world, the united states embassy in china. i think i understand better than anyone on this stage the complex national security implications
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that we will face going forward. which what is, we all know, the most complex and challenging relationship of the 21st century, that of china. >> governor romney? >> you have a question or should i just -- >> my question is the governor just said he thinks he can speak better than anyone else to these -- >> they can do a lot better than barack obama, let's put it that way. we have a president who has no experience in leadership. he never led a business. he never led a city. he never led a state. and as a result he learned on the job, being president of the united states, and he has made one error after another related to foreign policy. the most serious of which relates to iran. we have a nation intent on becoming nuclear. iran has pursued their ambition without having crippling sanctions against them. the president was silent when over 1 million voices took to the streets in iran. voices he should have stood up for. he's failed to put together a plan to show iran we have a capacity to remove them militarily from their plans to have nuclear weaponry.
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this is a failed presidency. the issue in dealing with the responsibility of commander in chief is the issue of saying who has the capacity to lead. who is someone who's demonstrated leadership capacity? who has character? shown that character over their career? who has integrity? i hope i'm each of these peoplepy don't want to be critical of the people on the stage. any one of these people would do a better job in many respects than our president. i will endorse our nominee. i believe in the principles that made america such a great nation. we're faced not with a nation that is extraordinarily secure and a very calm world. we're facing a very dangerous world. and we have a president now who unbelievably has decided to shrink the size of the military. who unbelievably has said for the first time since fdr we're going to no longer have the capacity to fight two wars at a time. >> i want -- >> this president must be replaced. >> i want to bring in josh. >> i want to stay on the topic of commander in chief.
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only two of you on stage have served in the military, dr. paul as a flight surgeon, governor perry, a pilot. there are 25 million veterans in this country. this question is relevant to a large number of voters. perry, do you believe having one uniform and part of a unit better prepares you for the job as commander in chief than those on the stage who haven't served? >> i think it brings a very clear knowledge about what it requires for those that are on the front lines, but also having been the governor of the state of texas and been the commander in chief for 11 years there and 20,000-plus troops we've deployed to multiple theaters of operation. i want to go back to this issue we just brought up earlier. when we talked about one of the biggest problems facing this country. iran's a big problem, without a doubt. let me tell you what this president is doing with our military budget is going to put our country's freedom in jeopardy. you cannot cut $1 trillion from
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the department of defense budget and expect that america's freedoms are not going to be jeopardized. that to me is the biggest problem that america faces. is a president that doesn't understand the military and a president who is allowing the reduction of the dod budget so he can spend money in other places. and it will put america's freedom in jeopardy. >> talk about the understanding of the military and let's go to you, speaker gingrich. recently dr. paul referred to you as a chicken hawk because you didn't serve, given what you just heard governor perry just say about understanding the military and dr. paul's comments, how do you respond? >> dr. paul make ace lot of comments. it's part of his style. my father served 27 years in the army in world war ii, korea and vietnam. i grew up in a military family moving around the world. since 1979 i spent 32 years working, starting with the army's training indoctrine command. i was in the senior military for
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23 years. i served on the defense policy board. let me say something about veterans. as an army brat whose family was deeply engaged, i feel for veterans. we had a great meeting today with velvet rans. i made a commitment in new hampshire we would reopen the hospital in manchester. we would develop a new clinic in the north country using telecommunications. and provide a system where veterans could go to the local doctor or local hospital. the idea that a veteran in the north country in midwinter has to go all the way to boston is absolutely totally fundamentally wrong. i would say as an army brat who watched his mother, his sisters and his father for 27 years, i have a pretty good sense what military families need. >> congressman paul would you say that again? would you use that phrase again? >> yeah, i think people who don't serve when they could and they get three or four or even five deferments aren't -- they have no right to send our kids off to war and not -- be even
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against the wars we have. i'm trying to stop the wars. at least i went when they called me up. you know, the veterans problem is a big one. we have hundreds of thousands coming back from these wars that were undeclared, they were unnecessary, they haven't been won, they're unwinnable. we have hundreds of thousands looking for care. we have an epidemic of suicide coming back. so many have -- i mean if you add up all the contractors and all the wars going on, afghanistan and iraq, we've lost 8,500 americans. severe injuries, over 40,000. these are undeclared wars, so rick keeps say you don't want this libertarian stuff, but i don't bring up the word, you do. i talk about the constitution. constitution has rules. i don't like it when we send our kids off to fight these wars and when those individuals didn't go themselves, and then come up and when they're asked, they say,
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oh, i don't think i could, one person could have made a difference. i have a pet peeve. that annoys me to a great deal. because when i see these young men coming back, my heart weeps for them. >> speaker gingrich. >> well, dr. paul has a long history of saying things that are inaccurate and false. the fact is, i never asked for deferment. i was married with a child. it was never a question. my father was, in fact, serving in vietnam in the me kong delta he's referring to. i think i have a good idea of what it's like as a family to worry about your father getting killed. i personally resent the kind of comments and aspersions he routinely makes without accurate information and then just slurs people with. >> i need one quick follow up. when i was drafting, i was married and had two kids and i went. [ applause ] >> i wasn't eligible for the draft. i wasn't eligible for the draft. >> congressman paul, while we're on the subject, the speaker said
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you had a history of inaccurate statements. there's been controversy over this newsletter that went out under your name, a number of comments that were perceived as racist, as inaccurate. you said even though they were written under your name that you're not necessarily -- that you didn't necessarily know they were written, you don't necessarily stand by them. can you take the time and explain to everybody what happened there, how it was possible those kind of comments went out under your name without you knowing about it? >> it's been explained many times. everything's written 20 years ago approximately that i did not write. so concentrating on something that was written 20 years ago that i didn't write, you know, is diverting the attention from most of the important issues. the inference is obvious. you bring up the word racial overtones. you ought to ask me what my relationship is for racial relationships and one of my heroes is martin luther king because he practiced the libertarian principle of peaceful resistance.
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and peaceful civil disobedience as did rosa parks did. but also i'm the only one up here and the only one in the democratic party that understands true racism in this country. in the judicial system. and it has to do with enforcing the drug laws. the percentage of people who use drugs are about the same with blacks and whites and yet the blacks are arrested way did i proportionately. they're prosecuted, imprisoned, way disproportionately. they get the death penalty way disproportionately. how many times have you seen a white rich person get the electric chair or get execution? but poor minorities have an injustice. and they have an injustice in war as well. because even with the draft, they suffered definitely more. without a draft, they're suffering disproportionately. if we truly want to be concerned about racism, you ought to look at a few of those issues and
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look at the drug laws which are being so unfairly enforced. >> we want to thank you for the first round of this debate. and we want to take a break right now. and when we come back, there's so many family issues, issues of gay rights, that have been front and center in this campaign. we'd love to have you address some of those. thank you for being with us. the 2012 debate.
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somebody did make a survey and i think he came out as one of the top corrupt individuals because he took so much money from the lobbyists. really what the whole -- there it goes again. >> it caught you not telling the truth, ron. >> but really -- what really counts is his record. i mean, he's a big government, big spending individual. the group that called me corrupt was a group called crew. if you haven't been sued by crew, you're not a conservative. it's a ridiculous charge. you should know better. >> back live from manchester, new hampshire in a moment. i'm laura, and this is my cvs. i just transferred a prescription to cvs, because they have care 1 on 1. that's where the pharmacist stops and talks to me, about safety and saving money with generic prescriptions. laura, let's talk about possible side effects. it's all a about me. love that! get care 1 on 1, only at cvs pharmacy. we accept express scripts and 5,000 other insurance plans.
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back in manchester. governor romney, i want to go to you. senator santorum has been clear in his belief the supreme court was wrong when it decided a right to privacy was embedded in the constitution. he believes states have the right to ban contraception. i should add he's not recommending that states do that -- >> be clear -- >> absolutely. giving you your due -- >> tenth amendment -- >> i want to get to that core question. do you believe states have the right to ban contraception or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy? >> george, this is an unusual topic that you're raising. states have the right to ban contraception? i can't imagine a state banning
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contraception. i can't imagine circumstances where a state would want to do so -- >> supreme court had to rule -- >> -- i would oppose any effort to ban contraception. so you're asking -- given the fact there's no state that wants to do so, you're asking could it constitutionally be done? we can ask our constitutionalist here. >> i'm sure congressman paul -- >> okay, come on back -- >> do you believe states have that right or not? >> george, i don't know whether a state has a right to ban contraception. no state wants to. the idea of you putting forward things that states might want to do that no state wants to do and asking me if i want to do it or not is kind of a silly thing. [ applause ] >> hold on a second. governor, you went to harvard law school. you know very well -- >> has the supreme court decided states do not have the right to
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provide contraception? >> yes, they have. '65 -- >> i believe that the law of the land is as spoken by the supreme court and if we disagree with the supreme court and occasionally i do, then we have a process under the constitution to change that decision. and it's known as the amendment process. and where we have for instance right now we're having issues that relate to same sex marriage. my view is we should have a federal amendment to the constitution defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. but i know of no reason to talk about contraception in this regard. >> -- supreme court decision defining the right to privacy in the constitution -- >> i don't believe they decided that correctly. in my view, roe v. wade was improperly decided. in my view, if we had justices like roberts, alito, thomas and scalia and more justices like that, they might well decide to return this issue to states as opposed to saying it's in the federal constitution. by the way, if the people say it should be in the federal constitution, then instead of
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having unelected judges stuff it in there, we should allow the people to express their own views and add it to the constitution. this idea that -- >> should that be done in this case? >> pardon? >> should that be done in this case? >> to allow states to ban contraception? no. why would we try to put it in the constitution? with regards to gay marriage, i told you that's when i would amendment the constitution. contraception, it's working joust fine, just leave it alone. [ applause ] >> i understand -- you've given two answers to the question. do you believe that the supreme court should overturn it or not [ audience reacting ] >> do i bleach the supreme court should overturn roe v. wade? yes, i do. >> he mentioned my name. >> go ahead. >> i didn't know whether i got time when it was favorable or not. but thank you. no, i think the fourth amendment is very clear. explicit in our privacy.
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you can't go into anybody's house and look at what they have or their papers or any private things without a search warrant. this is why the patriot act is wrong. because you have a right to privacy by the fourth amendment. as far as selling contraceptives, the interstate commerce cause protects this because the intrastate commerce clause was written not to impede trade between states but written to facilitate trade between states. so it would be legal to pass out birth control pills in that state. >> senator santorum. >> what's the question? >> the right to privacy and the response to congressman paul. >> congressman paul's talking about privacy under the fourth amendment which i agree with the amendment. i don't necessarily agree that the patriot act violates that. obviously we have a right to privacy under that fourth amendment. that's not what griswald decision nor the roe v. wade decision was about. they created through rights a
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new right to privacy that was not in the constitution. and what -- that's, again, i sort of agree with romney's assessment, legal assessment, it created a right through boot strapping to creating something that wasn't there. i believe it should be overturned. i am for overturning roe versus wa wade. i do not believe we have a right in this country, in the constitution, to take a human life. i don't think that's -- i don't think our founders envisioned that. i don't think the writing of the constitution anywhere enables that. >> i want to turn now, if i can, from the constitution, elevated here, to something closer to home and to maybe families sitting in their living rooms all across this country. yahoo! sends us questions, as you know. we have them from real viewers. i'd like to post one. because it is about gay marriage. at the level -- i would really love to be able to ask you what you would say personally sitting
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in your living rooms to the people who ask questions like this. this is from phil in virginia. given that you oppose gay marriage, what do you want gay people to do who want to form loving, committed, long-term relationships? what is your solution? and, speaker gingrich. >> what i would say is we want to make it possible to have those things that are most intimately human between friends occur. for example, you're in a hospital. if there are visitation hours, should you be allowed to stay. there ought to be ways to designate that. you want to have somebody in your will. there ought to be ways to designate that. it's a huge jump from being understanding and considerate and concerned which we should be to saying we therefore are going to institute the sacrament of marriage as though it has no basis. it was based on a man and woman. has been for 3,000 years. is at the core of our civil days. it's something worth protecting and upholding.
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protecting and upholding that doesn't mean you have to go out and make life miserable for others but it does mean you make a distinction between historic sacrament of enormous importance in our civilization and simply deciding it applies everywhere and it's just a civil right. it's not. it is a part of how we define ourselves. i think a marriage between a man and woman is part of that definition. >> governor huntsman, you've talked about civil unions. how do you disagree with the others on this stage? >> well, personally, i think civil unions are fair. i support them. i think there's such a thing as a quality under the law. i'm a married man. i've been married for 28 years. i have seven kids. glad year off the contraception discussion. 15 minutes worth by the way. i don't feel that my relationship is at all threatened by civil unions. on marriage, i'm a traditionalist. i think that ought to be saved for one man and one woman.
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but i believe that civil unions are fair. i think it brings a level of dignity to relationships. i believe in reciprocal beneficiary rights. i think they should be part of civil unions as well. states ought to be able to talk about this. i think it's absolutely appropriate. >> go to santorum with a similar topic. we're in a state where it is legal for same sex couples to marry. 1800 couples have married since it became law in new hampshire. they're starting families, some of them. your position on same sex adoption. obviously you are in favor of traditional families. but are you going to tell someone they belong in -- as a ward of the state or in foster care rather than have two parents who want them? >> this isn't a federal issue, it's a state issue, number one. states can make that determination. in new hampshire, my feeling is this is an issue that should be -- i believe the issue of marriage itself is a federal
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issue. that we can't have different laws with respect to marriage. marriage is a foundation of our country and we have to a singular law with respect to that. we can't have somebody married in one state and not married in another. if we were successful in establishing that, then this issue becomes moot. if we don't have a federal law, i'm certainly not going to have a federal law that bans adoption for gay couples when there are only gay couples in certain states. this is a state issue, not a federal issue. >> let me ask you to follow up on that. with those 1,800 -- we have federal constitutional limit banning same sex marriage what happens to the 1,800 families who have marriages? are their marriages basically illegitimate at this point? >> if with have -- if the constitution says marriage is between a man and woman, then marriage is between a man and a woman and, therefore, that's what marriage is and would be in this country. and those who are not men and women who are married would not be married.
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what the constitution would say. >> if i can come back to the living room question again. would you weigh in on the yahoo! question about what you would say sitting down in your living room to a gay couple who say we simply want to have the right to, as the person who wrote the e-mail said, we want gay people to form loving committed long-term relationships. human terms, what would you say to them? >> the answer is that's a wonderful thing to do. and that there's every right for people in this country to form long-term committed relationships with one another. that doesn't mean they have to call it marriage. or they have to receive the approval of the state and a marriage license and so forth for that to occur. there can be domestic partnership benefits or contractual relationship between two people. which would include as speaker gingrich indicated hospital visitation visits and the like. we can include what form of benefits. state by state. to say marriage is something
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other than the relationship between a man -- a man and a woman i think is a mistake. and the reason for that is not that we want to discriminate against people or to suggest that the gay couples are not just as loving and can't also raise children well. it's instead a recognition that for society as a whole, that the nation presumably would be better off if children are raised in a setting where there's a male and a female. there are many cases where there's not possible. divorce, death, single parents, gay parents and so forth. for society to say we want to encourage through the benefits we associate with marriage people that form partnerships between men and women and then raise children, which we think that will be the ideal setting for them to be raised. >> speaker -- >> i just want to raise -- since we spent this much time on these issues, i just want to raise the point about the news media bias. you don't hear the opposite question asked. shot catholic church be forced to close its adoption services in massachusetts because it won't accept gay couples which
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is exactly what the state has done. should the catholic church be driven out of providing charitable services in the distri district of columbia because it won't give in to bigotry? should the catholic church find itself discriminated against by the obama administration on key delivering of service because of the bias of the administration? the bigotry question goes both ways. there's a lot more anti-christian bigotry today than there is concerning the other side. none of it gets covered by the news media. [ applause ] >> as you can tell, the people in this room feel that speaker gingrich is absolutely right and i do too. i was in a state where the supreme court stepped in and said marriage is a relationship required under the constitution for people of the same sex to be able to marry. john adams who wrote the constitution would be surprised. and it did exactly as speaker gingrich indicated. what happened was catholic charities that placed almost
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half of the adoptive children of our state was forced to being able to provide adoptive services and the state tried to find other places to help children. we have to recognize this decision about what we call marriage has consequence which goes far beyond a loving couple wanting to form a long-term relationship. that they can do within the law now. calling it marriage creates a whole lot of problems for the families, for the law, religion, education. let me share this, 3,000 years of human history shouldn't be discarded so quickly. >> congressman paul, let me bring this to you. you're running here in the republican primary but you haven't promised to support the party's nominee in november. and you refuse to rule out running as a third party candidate if you fail to get the nomination. why not rule that out? >> well, i essentially have. it's just i don't like absolutes like i will never do something. but no -- >> -- for a debt ceiling --
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>> please don't interrupt me. so i have said this the last go-around. they asked me that about 30 times. i think maybe you've asked me four or five already. and the answer's always the same. no, i have no plans do it. i don't intend to do it. somebody pushed me a little bit harder and say why don't you plan to do it, and i say i don't want to. i have no intention. i don't know why a person can't reserve judgment and see how things turn out. in many ways, i see the other candidates as very honorable people, but i sometimes disagree with their approach to government. and i'd like to see some changes. i want to see changes. where they're talking about a little bit of a difference in foreign policy. and interest in the federal reserve. a change in the monetary policy. we haven't heard one minute of talk about cutting any spending. we've talked previously about cutting the military spending. that's cutting proposed
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increases. this is why i have proposed we cut a whole trillion dollars that first year. if we're serious as republicans and conservatives, we have to cut. i want to put as much pressure on them as i can. besides, i'm doing pretty well. third, wasn't too bad, wasn't too far behind. doing pretty well. catching up on mitt every single day. [ laughter and applause ] governor perry, do you think everyone on this stage should rule out third party candidacy? >> i think anyone on this stage is better than what we've got in place. let me just address this issue of gay marriage, just very quickly. and it's a bigger issue frankly. i am for a cononstitutional amendment that says that marriage is between a man and a woman. at the federal level. but this administration's war on religion is what bothers me greatly. when we see an administration that will not defend the defense of marriage act, that gives their justice department clear
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instructions to go take the ministerial exception away from our churches, where that's never happened before. when we see this administration not giving money to catholic charities for sexually trafficked individuals because they don't agree with the catholic church on abortion, that is a war against religion and it's going to stop under a perry administration. [ applause ] >> i would like to turn now if i can back to foreign policy. and governor huntsman, afghanistan, 90,000 troops tonight, and we salute them all, serving in afghanistan. what is the earliest you think they should be brought home? >> you know, we've been at the war on terror for ten years now. we've been in afghanistan. and i say we've got a lot to show for our efforts. i as president would like to square with the american people on what we have to show for it. the taliban is no longer in power. we've run out al qaeda. they're now in sanctuaries.
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we've had free elections. osama bin laden is no longer around. we have strengthened civil society. we've helped the military. we've helped the police. i believe it's time to come home. and i would say within the first year of my administration which is to say the end of 2013 i would want to draw them down. i want to recognize afghanistan for what it is. it is not a counterinsurgency. i don't want to be nation building in southwest asia when this nation is in such need of repair. but we do have a counterterror mission in southwest asia, and that would suppose leaving behind maybe 10,000 troops. for intelligence gathering. for special forces rapid response capability and training. >> governor romney, time to come home? >> well, we want to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can. and governor huntsman says the end of 2013, the present and the commanders are saying they think 2014 is a better date. we'll get a chance to see what happens over the coming year. we want to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can.
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i will, if i'm president, will inform myself based upon the experience of the people on the ground, i want to make sure we hand off the responsibility to an afghan security force that is capable of maintaining the sovereignty of their nation from the taliban. but i can tell you this, i don't want to do something that would put in jeopardy much of the hard-earned success which we've had there, and i would bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can. of course based upon my own experience there, going there, informing myself of what's happening there and listening to the commanders on the ground. >> governor huntsman, you have a disagreement? >> yeah, i would have to tell mitt the president of the united states is the commander in chief. of course you get input and advice from a lot of different corners of washington, including the commanders on the ground. we also defer to the commanders on the ground about 1967 during the vietnam war and we didn't get very good advice then. here's what i think is around the corner in afghanistan. i think civil war is around the
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corner in afghanistan. and i don't want to be the president who invests another penny in a civil war. i don't want to be the president who sends another man or woman to harm's way that we don't -- we're not able to bring back alive. i say we've got something to show for our mission. let's recognize that and let's move on. >> speaker gingrich, do you have any quarrel with that? [ applause ] >> well, i think -- look, i think we're asking the wrong questions. afghanistan is a tiny piece of a gigantic mess that is very dangerous. pakistan is unstable and they probably have between 100 and 200 nuclear weapons. iran is actively try to get nuclear weapons. they go out and practice closing the straits of hormuz where 1 out of every 100 barrels of oil goes through every day. you have the muslim brotherhood winning the elections in egypt. the truth is we don't know who's in charge in libya. you have a regionwide crisis.
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which we have been mismanaging and under estimating. which is not primarily a military problem. we're not going to go in and solve pakistan militarily. we're not going to go in and solve all these other things. look at the right at which iraq is decaying. it began decaying within 24 hours of our last troops leaving. i think we need a fundamentally new strategy for the region comparable to what we developed to fight the cold war and i think it's a very big hard long-term problem. but it's not primarily a military problem. >> senator santorum, would you send troops back into iraq right now? >> well, i wouldn't right now -- >> if you were president -- >> what i would say is newt's right, we need someone who has a strong vision for the region and we have not had that with this president. he has been making mistakes at every turn. in iran. in egypt. i would argue libya, syria, israel. all of these places he has made mistakes on the ground that have shown the people in that region
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that we are the weak horse. that is something that cannot happen because it will cause events like you're seeing in the straights straits of hormuz. they will be pushed. america is soft so they can be pushed around. that's what this administration has done. you want to see what's going to happen, jon if we get out of afghanistan? let's just wait the next few weeks and months and see how things turn out when the united states isn't there and see how consequential our efforts are. we're the stability of that region. >> how long do you want to wait? >> till the security of our country is ensured. that's what the job of our commander in chief is. you make that decision. not the generals. you make that decision based on an analysis of understanding how virulent the threat of radical islam is. and you confront that threat not just militarily and importantly not just militarily. you confront it first by being honest with the american public about what this threat is. this president has sanitized every defense document.
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everything. there's -- the word "radical" islam doesn't appear anywhere. why? because we are fighting political -- we're trying to fight this politically correct war and not being honest with the american public as to who the enemy is how virulently they are and why they hate us. >> i know you have differences with president obama but who has the better of this argument? >> i think that you have to -- i would send troops back into iraq, because i will tell you -- >> now? >> i think we start talking with the iraqi individuals there. the idea that we allow the iranians to come back in to iraq and take over that country, with all of the treasure, both in blood and money, we have spent in iraq, because this president wants to kowtow to his liberal leftist base, and move out those men and women. he could have renegotiated that time frame. i think it's a huge error for us. we're going to see iran in my opinion, move back in at
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literally the speed of light. they're going to move back in. and all of the work we've done -- every young man that has lost his life in that country will have been for nothing. because we've got a president that does not understand what's going on in that region. >> mr. speaker, do you agree, send troops back to iraq now? >> let me put it in context. i was honored today to have bud mcfarland introduce me. he was reagan's national security adviser and i worked with him in the '80s on the strategy to defeat the soviet empire. here's the key thing to remember. if you're worried about the iranians in iraq, develop a strategy to replace the iranian dictatorship and iraq will be fine. if you want to stop wahhabism, get an american energy policy so no american president ever again bows to a saudi king. then you can put pressure on the saudis -- [ applause ] -- because you have enough american -- >> governor romney, you've said you will not send troops in
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right now. but give us a sense of the trigger. what would it take for you to send troops back in? >> it's a very high hurdle. the decision to send our men and women into harm's way is one which will be made with great seriousness and sobriety and -- >> what kind of thing though? >> you can't begin to say what the specific circumstance once. it would require dramatic american interests. you have to have a president that explain those interests to the american people. that also indicate how rather going in. we go in with exceptional force. we indicate how success would be defined. how we would define also when we're completed how we get our troops out and what would be left behind. the president didn't do that in libya. the president hasn't done that anywhere. i find it amazing we have troops in harm's way around the world and in afghanistan right now in iraq in the first three years of this president's term. he doesn't go on tv and talk to the american people every month about the sacrifice being made by these men and women. i find it extraordinary. that a very few number of
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families are paying the price of freedom in america. so the hurdle to actually put our troops in harm's way is very high. the test is america's interests. our security interests. and they have to be involved in a very significant way to deploy our troops. >> want to give congressman paul a chance to weigh in here. foreign policy is something a lot of people think is your achilles heel when it comes to getting elected. you said you wouldn't have authorized the raid to get bin laden. you think a nuclear iran is really none of our business. how do you reconcile that when part of your job as president -- >> well, i think that's a misquote. i don't want iran to get a nuclear weapon. i voted to go after bin laden so that takes care of that. but, you know, this is about when to go in. i don't think it's that complicated. i think we've made it much more complicated than it should be. yes, the president is the commander in chief. he's not the king. and that's why we fought a retch luci
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revolution, not to have a king dough si decide when we go to war. the proper manner is the people. elect congressman and senators to make a declaration of war. then we become the commander in chief and we make these decisions. but we went into afghanistan. we went into iraq. and now we're in pakistan. we're in involved in so many countries. now they want to move on to syria. there's some in washington now can't wait till they start bombing iran. we have to change this whole nature. something happened this week i thought was so encouraging. it reminds me of how we finally talked to chinese. they had killed 100 million of their own people but we finally broke the ice by playing ping pong. but today the american navy picked up a bunch of fishermen, iranian fishermen, that had been held by the pirates, and released them. and they were so welcome. it was just a wonderful thing to happen. this is the kind of stuff we should deal with. not putting on sanctions. sanctions themselves are --
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always leads up to war. that's what we're doing. eastern europe is going to be destabilized if they don't have this oil. and this just pushes iran right into the hands of the chinese. so our policy may be well intended but it has a lot of downside, a lot of unintended consequences, and unfortunately flowback. >> a final word from senator santorum. >> well, ron, if we had your foreign policy, there wouldn't have been a fleet there to pick up the iranian fishermen. and the fact is we did have a beneficial relationship with picking them up, and we have a very great relationship, and which should be much better, with the iranian people. the iranian people have taken to the streets repeatedly and still do, trying to overthrow their government. and we had a president of the united states who stood silently by, as thousands were killed on the streets. and did nothing. did nothing. in fact, he tacitly supported the results of the election. ahmadinejad announced right
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after the election polls were closed he won with sixtysome percent of the vote and the president said that sounds like a legitimate election. obviously a chicago politician. he doesn't get up and condone this behavior and turn his back on the folks in the street. when i was in the united states senate, i pushed to help those revolutionaries before the revolution to give them resources, to make sure we had the relationships so -- because i knew and if you take polls they do in iran. the iranian people love america because we stand up for the truth and say -- and call evil, which is what ahmadinejad and the mullahs are, we call evil what it is. that's why they admire us because we tell the truth. now we just have to have a president that helps them to do what is necessary, which is turn that regime out. >> we have to go to break. more to come.
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we can ask our constitutionalist here. >> do you believe states have that right or not? >> george, i don't know whether the state has right to ban contraception. no state wants to.
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>> you've given two answers to the question. do you believe that the supreme court should overturn it or not? >> i believe the supreme court should overturn -- do i believe the supreme court should overturn roe v. wade, yes, i do. >> go ahead, senator. >> i didn't know whether -- i didn't know whether i got time when it was favorable or not. thank you. i think the fourth amendment is very clear. it is explicit in our privacy. you can't go into anybody's house and look at what they have or their papers or any private things without a search warrant. >> back live from manchester, new hampshire, in a moment. we know a place where tossing and turning have given way to sleeping. where sleepless nights yield to restful sleep. and lunesta can help you get there, like it has for so many people before. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities
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and we welcome you back. we want to talk more on jobs right now and specifically the ideas the candidates have, individual unique ideas for creating more american jobs. and specifically jobs asking about what we think created the
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age of american energy which was infrastructure. >> we have an example of that here in new hampshire. if you travel north, probably went over what was a widening project that's going on. we're about $350 million away from getting this project completed. a lot of people here think this is a very important project to get done in terps of our regional economy. so the question is, again, infrastructure. with the increasing demands on our roads and bridges and the aging roads and bridges, how committed would you be, governor romney, to invest not so much as a stimulus package, a true economic growth package on our growth structure? >> there are certain things government can do. rebuilding an infrastructure that's aging is one of those. we've got to improve our bridges. improve our roads. improve our rail beds. improve our air transportation
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system to be competitive. by and large, it gets in the way of creating jobs. it's taxed too much. it's regulated too much. it has energy policies that keeps us from using our own energy. so we're going to have to have government change its orientation to be encouraging the private sector. fundamentally what it makes america the most productive and the wealthiest nation of the major nations of the world, our gdp per capita. our income per person in america is 50% higher than that of the average person in europe. why is that? it's because of the entrepreneurial spirit of the american people. of the ability to innovate, to create. we have a nation based upon opportunity and merit. we draw people here who seek freedom. and these people have built enterprises that employ and make america stronger. we have a president who has an entirely different view. he wants us to turn into a europe-style welfare state. and have government take from some to give to others. that will kill the ability of
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america to provide for a future, secure our freedom and give us rights which have been in our declaration of independence and our constitution. i believe in an america that's based upon opportunity and freedom. not president obama's social welfare state. >> i know you agree with romney on his views on president obama. how would you plans distinguish you from governor romney? >> you're talking about infrastructure? >> broadly, job creation. >> infradrawer structure is a v important topic. you cannot compete with china if you have an inferior infrastructure. for example, here, the northern pass project ought to be buried and should be along the state's right a way, which means you're using modern techniques to bring electricity from quebec to boston in a way that preserves the beauty of new hampshire. i would have an energy program
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designed to get us free from saudi arabia, iran, venezuela. two-thirds of the government revenue for that would be to paying off the debt. one-third would go for infrastructure. a program that would actually get us back on track. and you look at places like the highways you're describing, the bridges, if you don't have some systemic investment program, then you're not going to be able, i think, to compete with china and india. >> governor, where's the money going to come from? >> we've got to earn our way forward. there's no question about it. governors learn how to pay the bills. in order to pay the bills, you've got to expend your economic base. that's the problem we have in the united states now. we read about the jobs that ticked upward in this country. we're happy about that. we're providing people more in the way of real opportunity. think of where this country would be if during the first two years of barack obama you would have had a different president. i would have ripped open the tax code and i would have done what
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simp son/bowles recommended. to the tune of $1.1 billion. we've got a corrupt tax code. we've got to stimulate some confidence in the creative class in this country. right now, they're sitting on their hands. they're not going to have a more optimistic view of our direction -- >> -- the same amount of revenue as simpson/bowles plan. would anybody else on the stage agree? >> i'm sorry? >> to raise the kind of revenues called for in the simpson/bowles commission? >> no, i wouldn't. our plan puts together a package that focuses on simplifying the tax code. five deductions. health care, housing, pension, children and charities. everything else goes. we focus on the pillars that have brought this economy. i do something different.
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i'm very worried about a sector of our economy that has been under fire. i come from southwestern pennsylvania. the heart of the steel country. it's been devastated because we are uncompetitive. 30 years ago, we were devastated because business and labor didn't understand global competitiveness. they made a lot of mistakes. that's not what's happening now. our productivity gains, our labor force, they're doing their job. but they're running into a stiff headwind called government. it's government taxation. 35% corporate tax. the highest in the world. a tax that doesn't easily offset when we try to export which makes it even more difficult -- >> -- for lowering the corporate tax -- >> -- to zero it out for manufacturers and processors. which is what i do. because we are at 20% cost differential with our nine top trading partners on average. that 20% cost differential that is excluding labor costs. so it is government taxation, eliminating the corporate tax, a
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big chunk of that, it's regulation. this administration is on track -- i think it's congressional research service, they look at regulations and they price the highest cost, ones over $100 million. and bush and clinton, there were 60 on average per year under those two administrations. last year under president obama, there was 150 of those types of regulations. i would repeal every one of them and replace them with ones that are less costly or not replace them at all. >> why not go to zero? >> to zero? there's no question it would be great not to have any taxes. unfortunately, we have to have taxes to pay for our military, to pay for the programs that pay for those who can't care for themselves. the tax is too high. consume 27% of our economy. about a quarter. today it consumes 37% of our economy. we're only inches away from no longer being a free economy. our democrat friends want us to keep raising taxes just a little more. just give us a little more.
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government is already too big. we have to rein in the scale of the federal government. so we do need to have our employer tax rates brought down to be competitive with other nations. that's about 25%. we also have to make sure we give relief to people who need it most. the people that have been hurt in the obama economy are the people in the middle class. and so i've put in place the significant savings incentive. i eminate any tax on savings for middle income americans. but i look long term to do what john indicated. take bowles/simp son. reduce the number of exceptions and limit the number of exceptions that can occur. i don't want to raise capital gains tax rates as they do in bowles/simpson. broadening the base is the right way to go for our tax code long term. immediately, let's get some relief for middle income americans. >> congressman, we hear over and over again people are hoping for a great vision for america once again. america on the move once again.
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give us the great vision that is realistic given the financial situation, a realistic great vision for america. >> well, it's to restore america to our freedoms. restore america to our principles. that is individual liberty and our constitution and sound money. in doing that, you have to understand economics. you can't solve any economic crisis unless you know where the business cycle comes from and why you have bubbles and why they break. you have to understand we've had a financial bubble that's been going on for 40 years. it's cole lpsing. nobody quite recognizes it but we're in the midst of a correction. you have to liquidate debt. what we've done is the people who built up the debt on wall street and the banks, we've had the american taxpayer bail 'em out. we bought it through the federal reserve and through the treasury, dumped it on the american people. the middle class is now shrinking. we don't have jobs. if you're an individual or businessman if you're consuming, everything you're earning just
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to finance your debt. you can't have growth. so we have to liquidate debt. this is the reason i call for cutting spending. the only one that's calling for real cuts. you have to have real cuts. that's what the republican party used to stand for. but you can't liquidate debt. you can't keep bailing out the debt. that's what japan has done for 20 years. they're still in their doldrums. we're into this now for five years and it has to end. it's only going to end after we understand the business cycle. >> there is a vision. dr. paul there is a vision out there. it's to get america back working again. i mean, the idea that americans have lost confidence in washington, d.c. and lost confidence in wall street is a great example of where they want to go. they want washington out of their hair. they want less taxation, less regulation, less litigation. there's a model for that in the state of texas over the course of the last decade. if we will put those types of policies into place, we're sitting on 300 years of energy in this country.
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allow our federal lands and waters to be opened up so we are the people who are developing domestic energy and we are not being held hostage by countries that are hostile to america. we can put this country back to work again in the energy industry, whether it's -- any of the energy industry side. whether it's solar or wind or oil and gas or coal. use it all. put the american people to work. allow those resources off our federal lands, dr. paul, to be used to pay down the debt. i'll tell you one of the things that can turn this economy in new hampshire around is to pass the right to work law. and it will make new hampshire a powerful magnet for jobs in the northeast. [ applause ] >> governor huntsman -- >> diane, you hit right on it, and that is what is the vision for getting this country moving. we all have records. those of us who are governors, very specific job creation records. i delivered a flat tax in my
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state. we became the top job creator in the country. mitt in massachusetts was number 47. but more to the point, i went to lindy's diner in king and had a conversation with a guy named jamie who has a small motorcycle repair shop. he said when he grew up in king, it was bustling with activity. he said he had 30 different jobs growing up. he said there were four machine tool operations in that town. he said i remember the excitement, the enthusiasm, and all of the opportunity. and we had this conversation. i said, you know what, we're once again on the cusp of a manufacturing renaissance in this country if we do it right. china is going down in terms of gdp growth from 8%, 9%, to 4%, 6%. as they go down in growth, unemployment goes up. we have an opportunity to win back that manufacturing investment. if we are smart enough with the right kind of leadership to fix our taxes. no one up here is calling for the complete elimination of all the loopholes and the deductions. where "the wall street journal" came out and endorsed my tax plan, that's what needs to be
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done. not tinkering around the edges. if we can move towards a friendly regulatory environment, this country can get back in the game again. we can rebuild our manufacturing muscle and we can rebuild some of the job training opportunities we have lost. >> why not close all the loopholes as governor huntsman is saying? >> george, let me step back from that. i don't want to be critical of the questions you ask and the other interviewers ask. i think the real issue is the vision for this country. i think people have to recognize that what's at stake in this election is jobs, yes, and balancing the budget, yes, and dealing with our extraordinary overhang from our entitlements. we have to make sure they're preserved. we got a lot of issues we talk about. this election is about the soul of america. we have in washington today a president who has put america on a road to decline. militarily. internationally. domestically. he's making us into something we
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wouldn't recognize. we're increasingly becoming like europe. europe isn't working in europe. it will never work here. the right course for america is to return to the principles that were written down in the first words of the declaration. we were endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. among them, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. we have the right in this country to pursue happiness as we choose. and as people pursue education and work hard and take risk and build enterprises of all kinds, they lift themselves and don't make us poorer. they make us better off. the question is, are we going to remain an exceptional nation, a unique nation in the history of the earth. that's what's at stake in they leex that's what's at stake in this election. we have a president who does not understand the nature of american entrepreneurism, innovation and work. that's something we're fighting for in this election. i hope the people on this stage share that vision. but we must return america to
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the principles upon which it was founded if we're ever going to have a strong balance sheet, a strong income statement, create jobs, but have a bright future for our kids. >> speaker gingrich -- [ applause ] -- you just heard governor romney -- you've made the case on several occasions he's not the man to carry that message for the republican party. why not? >> well, look, i think that's a good message. little bit harsh on president obama who i'm sure in his desperate efforts to create a radical european socialist model is sincere. [ laughter ] but "the wall street journal" captured it the other day in their dialogue when their editorial board met and they said i had a very aggressive pro jobs program, zero capital gains, 12.5% corporate tax rate, 100% expensing for all new equipment. abolish the death tax. this is their words, not mine. governor romney's program was timid and more like obama.
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would think those were fighting words. frankly if he wants to fight with the "wall street journal" on that i wouldn't blame him. i do think there's a difference between a bold reagan conservative model and a more establishment model that is a little more cautious about taking the kind of changing we need. >> senator santorum, you just heard from both people on either side of you. enough substance there for you? >> well, look, i like the vision. as far as substance, i agree with speaker gingrich. i don't think governor romney's plan is particularly bold or is particularly focused on where the problems are in the country. the governor used the term that i shrink from. it's one i don't think we should be using as republicans. middle class. there are no classes in america. we are a country that don't allow for titles. we don't put people in classes. maybe middle income people. but the idea somehow another we're going to buy into the class warfare arguments of barack obama something that
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should not be part of the republican lexicon. that's their job, divide, separate, pit one group against another. that's not the language that i'll use as president. i'll use the language of bringing people together. i'll also be able to show you that unlike some of the folks up here that we have a consistent rerd of being the person to contrast ourselves on health care, for example. we're looking for someone who can win this race, who can win this race on the economy and on the core issues of this election. and i was not ever for an individual mandate. i wasn't for a top-down government-run health care system. i wasn't for the big bank or wall street bailout as romney was. i stood firm on those -- and worked in the coal fields if you will, against this idea we needed a cap and trade program. if you want someone that has a contrast, has a strong record, a vision for this country, apeal to blue collar workers, and deliver that message we care about you too, not just about
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wall street and bailing them out, then i'm the guy you want to put in the nomination. >> governor romney. >> my plan is a lot broader than just tax policy. the tax policy i've described is entitled to help people in this country that need help now. there's more than that. we have to open up markets for america's goods. as the most producti ivive coun in the world. we have to open up markets for our goods. europe, european nations and china over the last three years have opened up 44 different trade relationships with various nations in the world. this president's opened up none. we have to open up trade. we have to take advantage of our extraordinary energy resources. at the same time, we're going to have to do something about the regulations in this country. as we talk about deregulation, what we're really shorthanded is we want to change old regulations that are crushing enterprise and put in place those that encourage enterprise. i understand how the economy
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works. because i've lived in it. there are a lot of guys who spent their life in washington, have a very valid important experience, but they've not been on the front line competing with businesses around the world. i have. i know what regulations kill and which regulations help enterprise. and i want to use the expertise to get america working again. and i'll come back to the point i made at the beginning. this is bigger than that issue. this is really an issue -- a campaign about the direction of this country. this is a choice. by the way, if we don't make the right choice this time, we may not be able to for a very, very long time. this is a critical time in the history of this country. >> governor, vision for dealing with china, competing around the world? >> listen, we have the most important relationship of the 21st century with china. we've got to make it work. of course we have challenges with them. we've had challenges for 40 years. it's nonsense to think you can slap a tariff on china the first
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day you're in office as governor romney would like to do. you've got to sit down and sort through the issues of trade like you do with north korea, like you do with iran, like burm ma, pakistan and the south china sea, they're all interrelated. to have a president who understands how that relationship works would serve the interests of the people in this country. from an economics standpoint and from a security standpoint. >> i'm sorry, governor, you were the last two years implementing the policies of this administration in china. the rest of us on this stage were doing our best to get republicans elected across the country and stop the policies of this president from being put forward. my own view on the relationship with china is this, which is that china is stealing our intellectual property, our patents, our designs. they're hacking into our computers. stealing information from not only corporate computers but from government computers and they're manipulating their currency. for those who don't understand the impact of that, i've seen
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it. if you hold down the value of your currency artificially, you make your products artificially low priced and kill american jobs. that's happened in this country. if i'm president of the united states, i'm not going to continue to talk about how important china is and how we have to get along. i believe those things. they're very important. we do have to get along. but i'm also going to tell the chinese it's time to stop. you have to play by the rules. i will not let you kill american jobs any longer. >> under the rules, governor huntsman. >> i think it's important to note, as they would say in china, that -- [ speaking foreign language ] he doesn't quite understand this situation. what he is calling for would lead to a trade war. it makes for easy talk and a nice applause line but it's far different from the reality. you slap on tariffs, you talk tough like that. of course that's got doing part as well. in the end, we get a tariff in return if we don't sit down and have a logical conversation. who does that hurt most? it hurts the small businesses
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and the small exporters are who trying to get back on their feet in this country in a time when the nation can least afford a trade war. [ applause ] >> i've said it before and i'll say it again. the last thing china wants is a trade war. we don't want one either. they sell us this much stuff. we sell them this much stuff. tell me who doesn't want the trade war. they don't want it real bad. we've been listening for ten years people talking about how we can't hold china to the rules of free and fair trade and if i'm president i will hold them to those rules. and we'll respect each other but we are not going to let them just run all over us and steal our jobs. >> got to take a break. we'll be right back with a final word. [ kyle ] my bad. [ roger ] tell me you have good insurance. yup, i've got... [ dennis ] ...allstate. really? i was afraid you'd have some cut-rate policy.
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[ kyle ] nope, i've got... [ dennis ] ...the allstate value plan. it's their most affordable car insurance -- and you still get an allstate agent. i too have... [ dennis ] ...allstate. [ roger ] same agent and everything. [ kyle ] it's like we're connected. no we're not. yeah, we are. no...we're not. ♪ the allstate value plan. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate.
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we're in the midst of a real big correction. instead of liquidating debt, what we've done is the people who build up the debt, we've had the american tax payers bail them out. >> we have a nation which is based upon opportunity and merit. we draw people here who seek freedom and these people have built enterprises that employ and make american stronger. we have a president who has an entirely didfferent view. he wants us to turn into a welfare state. >> you cannot compete with china in the long run if you have an inferior infrastructure. you have to be smart and make investments. >> we've got to earn our way forward. there's no question about it. governors learn how to pay the bills. in order to pay the bills, you've got to expand your economic base. i'm laura, and this is my cvs. i just transferred a prescription to cvs,
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we are back. so grateful for this debate tonight. we thought we might just end on something personal. it's saturday night. again as we meet. >> if you weren't here running for president, governor perry, what would you be doing on a saturday night? >> i'd probably be at the shooting range. >> instead of being shot at. >> yeah. >> speaker gingrich? >> i'd be watching the college championship basketball game. >> football game. >> i mean football game. thank you.
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>> i'd be doing the same thing with my family. watching the championship game. >> football, i love it. >> i'd be home with my family. but if they all went to bed, i'd probably read an economic textbook. >> i'd be on the phone with my two boys in the united states navy. because they're a constant reminder of what is great about this nation and awesome about the emerging generation in this country. >> and on that note, once again, we thank you, all. tuesday, the big primary in new hampshire. that is it for us here at st. anseln college in new hampshire. your families are here. we salute all of you who have spent your saturday night here with us too. we thank everybody here in new hampshire for joining us. and stay with abc news. we have full coverage coming up.
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>> thanks to all the candidate. stick with us, everyone at hope, we'll have full analysis coming up. we'll be right back.
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we are so glad to be back. we have our team of analysts standing by here. i want to go straight to abc's jake tapper. so, jake, give me your headline on what happened tonight. >> i think we were all waiting to see if any of the other candidates were going to be able to lay a glove on the front-runner here and the front-runner in south carolina according to recent polls former massachusetts governor mitt romney. although there were some moments where the rivals hinted that maybe they would be willi ing discuss some things in romney past they weren't happy with, there weren't really effective arguments as to why this front-runner should not be the front-runner. that's one of the big questions.
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should this guy be the nominee? if not, why should you be? i didn't see any of the rivals really effectively make the case. they made cases for their candidacy but it was almost as if they weren't aware that mitt romney was the front-runner and they weren't aware mitt romney had won iowa, was far ahead of the polls here, and likely to wrap this up, this nomination up quickly, if somebody didn't step up. we all have been looking to see if rick san tore rupp who had a successful time in iowa, if he would fulfill this role. he made a case for himself but he didn't explain why him and not mitt romney so i have to say i -- >> david muir, there's no question governor romney wanted to talk mostly about obama tonight. got to be feeling pretty good. >> the camp already reacting. saying mitt romney stayed big and he won big. this is what they'll push in the next 24 hours. as jake points out, won iowa, already leading her substantially. what's most encouraging to the
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campaign is this ten-point lead in south carolina, a state th a social conservativconservativ. mitt romney continue to push jobs and the economy even in south carolina. traveling there. confident enough about new hampshire to go to south carolina for 24 hours and the people we talked to on the ground consistently said while some of those other issues are important that jobs and economy are issue number one. he stalk to that tonight. one thing that stuck out to me big picture, there weren't any direct knockouts we were expecting for someone who's not only a front-runner but ahead significantly. at one point diane asked huntsman to follow up to an answer he gave about trust and wall street and being commander in chief. she said, are you speaking about anyone in particular up on that stage. jon said i'll let them speak for themselves. when you're trying to take the front-runner down, you don't say let them speak for themselves and that speaks for the debate tonight. >> matthew dowd, were you
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surprised by that? >> you look at the trajectory coming in. we had an iowa caucus where mitt won, barely, by eight votes. all the national polls, he's moving on. you would think and the mitt romney folks, they thought they were going to get ready for their first real battle in this. to me the moment in this campaign is actually the moment that didn't happen, which was you expected all these people to take on the front-runner, figure out a way to stop that trajectory and somebody, rick santorum, somebody, to conso consolidate the vote in this campaign. it wasn't till -- it was like 15 round fight, into the 14 round, somebody said, we're behind, maybe we better catch up. when they started to do it. that was the big moment. the lack of ability by the other candidates in this race to do what the romney people were expecting them to do. >> before we get to our republican and democratic analysts, let me turn to john karl.
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you know these candidates. what do you make of this? >> i think this was a moment where mitt romney took a big step toward winning the republican nomination. and it was astounding they didn't want to do anything to take him on. newt gingrich started to. newt gingrich brought up romney's experience at bane capital. there's a brutal video out there put out by supporters of newt gingrich and he didn't distance himself from it. amazing to me, he cited "the new york times." i mean, "the new york times" to the audience that's going to be voting in these primaries is -- i mean that is not a source that would be trusted, okay. i mean, you know, love "the new york times" but that's not who republican voters in these primaries are going to be looking towards. >> you cover ron paul every day. he seemed much more interested tonight in holding down rick santorum. >> isn't it amazing? ron paul has been a one-man wrecking crew in this whole process. he took out rick perry. he took out newt gingrich in
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iowa. now he was the most effective in attacking santorum. who's the one guy ron paul hasn't attacked? he hasn't laid a glove on mitt romney. i think when -- if mitt romney gets the nomination, he's going to need to give a big thank you letter to ron paul. >> i actually have a theory that if you rip open ron paul's suit, you'll find one of the romney sons actually -- it's just a theory. >> okay. got to turn now to mary matalin, republican strategist. weigh in. >> as the resident member in good standing of the vast right wing conspiracy here, i have to say, it was a great night for mitt. he did everything he had to do. but it was a great night for santorum and it was a good night for newt. newt's the politics, when he's good, he's very, very good, and when he's bad, he's very, very bad. he was good tonight. the notion just because they
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haven't coellised doesn't make the desire for a conservative alternative to romney dissipate. we have a trajectory coming in. we have a trajectory going out. that would be south carolina. which has had less activity. they're waiting to see what will happen in iowa. they'll wait to see what will happen here. i think this puts it in a holding pattern for the moment in south carolina and i think mitt's not going to win here but if he doesn't win big this is a state that could be discounted because he does live here practically. >> did santorum do enough tonight to maybe climb into second place? >> i think he did. he needed to get past the perception he's one dimensional candidate. he wants to be a full spectrum conservative. needed to show he was electable, experienced. he did that. showed a full range of not just experience and views and depth on foreign policy in particular,
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and he was quick on his feet. he was a fighter. i think he did everything he needed to do tonight and he -- but he needed to not so much attack mitt as flesh out his candidacy. i would not be surprised if he's in the top three now. >> what was the argument you heard tonight that as a democrat gave you most pause? >> first of all, as a democrat, i cannot imagine a more exciting place to be on a saturday night. >> even with the saints playing. >> there's mo question, this is a battle for second place. rick santorum understood he had to come here, make a great showing tonight. remain competitive. but the next stop is south carolina. where he has to beat rick perry. get rid of newt gingrich. tonight was ron paul's opportunity, i also thought, to really show he has not only some knowledge of the issues but he's also going to remain in this
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race. mitt romney won tonight because no one touched him. for democrats, you know what, it was good news for us. >> why's that? >> because we believe that the weakest candidate is the candidate the republicans are not attacking and that's mitt romney. >> oh, come on. >> no, you don't believe that, donna. >> donna. >> i told you it was a fun place to be. >> matt, you were going to say something? >> i was just going to say one of the things coming into this debate and much discussion has been about is mitt romney the inevitable nominee. i don't think he's inevitable. the whole expression has the fat lady sung? she's in the green room. she's mic'ed up. she's getting ready to walk on stage. this did only to get her more ready, let the fat lady sing. mitt romney won tonight because nobody showed up at this debate to take him down. >> can i just say while all this is going on, while this continue, the fat lady is
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filling her lungs. conservatives are meeting. they're con fabbing in texas because they're not ready for this. there is a -- there's still a desire and an urge in the republican party to not have this be over yet. we haven't had a primary like this ever in our lifetime, where we get to take it out a little bit. the republican national committee rules have been changed to elongate the process. we're delegating -- aproportioning delegates more slowly. there's no reason for it to be over. i don't think it's bad to have it elongated. there's nothing they're going to say about each other that's not going to be heard twice by obama. i think they ought -- >> mary, the guy that has the resources here to take a national campaign is rick perry. the one person we haven't mentioned at all. i thought for a while rick perry looked like he was having maybe one of his best debate performances. then came the moment on iraq. where he said i want to send troops back to iraq.
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which i think is going to be a pretty tough campaign slogan. then he added the iranians are moving in literally at the speed of light. which is a pretty astounding -- >> one other point about the attacks. and i think we can agree on this. the prolonged hillary clinton versus barack obama race ultimately made obama a stronger candidate in '08. it allowed him to learn how to respond to attacks. he only just entered politics a few years before. enabled him to get a lot of his dirty laundry out during the primary season so by the time the general election it was kind of old news. the fact that if mitt romney ends up being the nominee, the fact he has gone through so many of these debates and so much of this campaign unscathed, without any serious challenges to him, by his rivals, that does not help him as a general election candidate. >> jake, he almost seemed to invite it this week. romnmney said my shoulders are brd enough, i can handle the
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heat. almost predicting he'd feel it in a way he hasn't seen yet. but he didn't see it. that's the big question about whether or not he's been tested as a candidate. >> i want to try to get if i can -- john, i'll come back to you, because you've covered a number of them in the debate. why? why do you think they didn't? >> it's a great question. one, jon huntsman, think the reason was, he's got his eye on the exits. jon huntsman had opportunity after opportunity tonight to take it to mitt romney and simply -- >> he did in chinese. >> we're still getting a translation on that. >> he offered one. >> only if the audience speaks mandarin. >> the odd thing, at the very end, even after huntsman took all these passes, romney actually threw a punch at huntsman and took issue and said you are the one who has been implementing the obama administration's policies in china. i mean, policies that he says
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are destroying american jobs. wonder, why is mitt romney picking a fight with john huntsman when he's on his way out the door? >> what that moment for mitt romney was it showed him he always has to demonstrate strength. that was an great moment for him even though he didn't need to do it in this context of the republican nomination procession. to show, you think i'm weak, here's a way i can stand up and show strength. i think when you look at the totali totality, it's not over yet but the interesting thing about the rules p s process, the way the s are set up, we have a bunch of primaries and caulks quickly and then none for a while. the way the rules are done, they actually shorten the process because of that. naysayers say here's four or five, mitt romney sews up a few, then basically six weeks with no event that nobody can say, here, i'm still in the game. it could do the opposite of what they thought it could do. >> what's the chances they'll go dark for six weeks? they'll be in a -- >> they won't go dark but what
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will happen on the republican side is that they will not have any contests that will bear enough delegates to give the other candidates any momentum. they won't attack the front-runner. basically, the second place finisher in this state will go to south carolina with some momentum and then florida. florida has a lot of delegates but they were penalized. we're going to spend the entire month of february without anything to celebrate but mitt romney marching on to victory. >> with money, with money. >> we only have about 30 seconds left. donna seemed to think that mitt romney's the weakest candidate to run against barack obama. a lot of democrats i think even those in the white house may disagree with that. why are conservatives so focused on finding alternatives when it appears according to a lot of republican voters in most polls he would be the strongest candidate in november? >> that's kind of a paradox. they -- 75% don't want him but 50% consistently say they're going to get him and over 50% say he's going to beat becoobam.
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they need to show they're electable. the romney thing is going to play tlz out. they need to show they're electable because that's romney's biggest strength now. they want a conservative. >> that's all the time we have tonight. thank you, all, for joining us for that analysis. >> and you're colorful metaphors, may i just say. i want to remind everybody, george stephanopoulos will be there tomorrow morning, back in the chair at "this week." we cannot wait. >> thanks to all of you for tuning in tonight. tune in to abcnews.com at anytime. have a great night.